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How to write protect a USB memory so that nobody modifies its content? Step by step guide

How to write protect a USB memory so that nobody modifies its content? Step by step guide

Having information so private and that nobody sees it is one of the goals of many people. If you are one of them, you are interested in knowing how to protect a USB memory against writing, so nobody modifies its content.

We show you two methods with simple steps: One to be able to encrypt a USB from BitLocker which is a function that is installed in Windows by default , and the other to be able to encrypt a USB using Mac as operating system.

We will also show you a small list of some programs that will allow you to encrypt any USB drive, offering free and paid versions. These programs are some of the best you can find in the market .

What is and what is the use of write protection on a USB?

When we talk about write protection we mean a kind of policy that prohibits any deletion, modification and formalization of information we want to apply on a USB drive The causes? it may be because the user does not have full access for a few privileges or that simply that information that you want to modify is currently protected by the same USB.

For this reason the name of write protection, since it is called at the computer level, as that restriction to the modification, elimination or any alteration to the information. Many people use this type of protection to take care of their private documents or files, although there is also a large population that activates it without realizing it .

Its use is very varied, although you should know that it is a somewhat delicate function, and later we will explain why.

Why block a USB flash drive against write? Benefits and Advantages

There are many people according to statistics who want to know how to remove this type of protection from their USB drive, but since you are here we will show you some benefits of enabling this type of protection, although you can use them for any other reason :

  • It prevents people outside you from sniffing your files or documents : Many times we neglect and forget our flash drive, and a person comes and grabs it. Well, with this protection that person will not be able to review, modify or add anything on your USB skewer.
  • Prevent information theft : Many computers are programmed to steal information from any disk that connects to it, encrypting the pendrive. Unless you grant the permissions, no virus or software steals data will be able to access your USB.
  • Privatize your documents : This way you can have a USB strictly for your personal use , so that no one without your consent can use it. However, some people partition the unit, encrypting only half of them, to have one available to all audiences.

Steps to lock and encrypt a USB stick against writing on all devices

There are many softwares that allow us to encrypt a USB memory, but in this first method we will explain how to encrypt a USB from Windows using its default program, known as “ BitLocker ”, this is a tool developed by Microsoft and is very useful:

With BitLocker

This tool allows us to encrypt a USB or any hard disk, for this we only go to the “Computer” folder, which can be found from the Windows menu. When we are in the indicated folder we right click on the device we want to protect, we will display a list of options which we select “Activate BitLocker” to start the process.

Then a window will appear whose name is “BitLocker Drive Encryption” which gives us two options; one to encrypt the unit with a password, and the other to encrypt the unit with a smart card.

  • In this case we select the first option . When we select it, it will allow us to set a password and then it will require us to write the password again , in order to confirm the password we want to set.

cifrar con bitlocker

  • Then we click on “Next”, and Windows will create a second password that can be used in case we forget the designated password. This password given by Microsoft can be saved or printed.

cifrado de unidad bitlocker

  • Later we will have to click on “Next” and choose between two options; one for fast encryption and one for slow, but complete USB encryption. The virtue of the second option is that we also encrypt the data that we have deleted, although they can still be recovered. To continue we click on clearlyNext†.

Sometimes they may require us to choose between two more options; One for a “New encryption mode”, which is for fixed units of a single device, and the other “Compatible mode”, that allows USB to be compatible with any other operating system or another version of Windows.

  • Finally, click on “Next” and you will be directed to a window asking us if we are ready to encrypt the selected unit. If we are satisfied with everything we have chosen we click on “Start encryption”. This way our unit will be encrypted, and the only way to modify or alter some information stored in the USB is by typing the key designated by us or the one that the same system granted us as an emergency.

iniciar cifrado

On MacOS

This method explains how to do if we have Mac as an operating system. Really very simple:

  • First we connect the USB that we want to encrypt to the computer, after it is reflected on the desktop we right click on it.
  • Later, in the list of options that is displayed, we choose “Encrypt” to be able to enter the password with which we will block our USB.

List of the best free and paid tools to protect a pen drive against writing

Just as there are functions already installed directly in the operating systems to encrypt our USB, there are also external softwares that can be installed that fulfill the same purpose. For this reason we will show a small list of programs that can encrypt our USB:



Many of us have heard of VeraCrypt on other occasions, however we will talk a little about him. This is a very complete program which allows us to completely encrypt any external disk in a simple way. It has excellent protection against algorithms that are sent by hackers. A good program that completely prevents us from violating our encryption through an attack by brute or similar forces .

Download VeraCrypt



Something that characterizes this program is its great shield against viruses. Thanks to its enormous defense no virus or malicious algorithm can affect our USB, in addition it has a very easy to use interface. Thanks to its ease of use in just minutes we can fully understand its function .

Download StorageCrypt

Cryptainer LE

Cryptainer LE

This is an excellent program to encrypt our USB , according to one of the most purchased statistics, as it guarantees complete protection when encrypting any USB drive, It also has a fairly simple control system that allows anyone to use it without any problems or complications.

Download Cryptainer LE

If you follow the steps above we will not need any program, although if you want to avoid all that, use any.